AUSTIN OMOS OYIBODE, EDITOR
Delta state coordinator of NotTooYoungToLead, Elvis Akpobi, has said that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state has good plans for youths in the state, saying his delay in appointing youths into the new administration should not be taken as the governor’s unwillingness to bring youths onboard.
Akpobi, in a chat with journalists, said the governor is a father to the youths and as a father, he feels the pains of his children, hence he as good plans for all Delta youths, noting that in the last administration, the governor appointed over 1500 persons, and in this new administration he has not appointed up to 50, hence there is great hope for youths in the state.
His response followed agitation from youths as the governor rolled out his first, second and third phases of appointments which include commissioners, special advisers, most of whom were members of the last administration and who are senior political leaders in their different local governments and communities.
Akpobi explained that the governor is aware that Delta youths labored tirelessly for the governor during the election and with that understanding the governor has good plans in stock for all youths but added that youths should develop themselves, have good ideas and be creative so that when eventually appointed, they will contribute to the advancement of the state.
According to him, if the government is 100percent youths, there is bound to be challenges because youths need experience to put some issues through in their different offices.
He said: “Why not be patient and see. It could be the governor is testing our patience. It takes more than being able to speak good English or just being an activist. How you handle issues matters a lot.
“I think we should give the governor time. He’s someone that promises and he will not fail. During the elections, youths came out to support the governor because they love his person.
“Youths did not support him because of leaders but because they love him. If we look at some people we call leaders, we will not support the system. I believe the governor will surprise us, so we need to be patient.”
On the issue of apprenticeship as stated by the governor during the swearing in of the secretary to the state government, Chiedu Ebie, Akpobi said the governor actually explained that his government is not about apprenticeship but will have a large conglomerate of youths, adding that the governor did not say youths will not be appointed into the cabinet.
He added: “These people already appointed are grounded in the job, they are not apprentices. I think the governor wants to mix his government with grounded persons and those who will learn on the job.”
He said though youths are many in the state and that it is not possible for the governor to notice everybody, he said: “If you are sound, you have capacity, you have ideas, it will show up anywhere. It only takes time. My dear, if you want a leader to pick you and take you serious, bring something to the table.
“We are blessed with a grassrooted governor. But this does not mean he knows everybody in the state who has capacity. But my advice to youths is keep doing what you are doing. One day, somebody will pick you up. Somebody that values capacity and potentials, God will use that person to elevate you.
Let’s build capacity and develop ourselves. Leaders also should help the younger generation that are around them. They should be the person that God will use to elevate the youths. Why must leaders always put interest in everything and leave the youths behind? I know there are youths out there that are feeling helpless but keep doing your best, God will use somebody you never thought of to elevate you.
“But I must say everybody cannot make it through politics. This is because everybody is now thinking it is only through politics you can make it, No.
“My advice is that youths should have patience, the governor is a promise keeper. He knows that in this last election, majority of the success story came from youths. It was youths that went to the field. We stood our ground. And the governor knows that.
“He will not let us down. All I’m saying is that youths should be patient. Every father knows the plight of his son. He is a father, he has children, he will not let us down. I have this confidence that he will bring on board young persons with creative ideas, not people who will get appointment and make people stop appointing young people.
“Some were appointed, they became so arrogant, no respect for elders. No, we don’t want such people. We want people who have capacity and ideas to add to the development programme of the governor. They should stay calm. “